Electrical safety at work
Electricity can kill if you give it the chance.
This page is a quick reference for employers and self-employed people to meet their obligations under the legislation. It covers the main points for most types of workplace but it is not a complete list.
Information on extension cords and flexible leads is also included.
Even if you survive an electric shock, there can be serious side effects. These can include:
- eye damage
- partial loss of limb function
- neurological disorders such as confusion and memory loss
- injuries caused after the shock such as falling from a ladder or contact with moving machinery.
The Electrical Safety Regulation 2013 sets out specific requirements about electrical equipment and installations at a workplace.
The regulation covers some of the minimum requirements and these include:
- protecting extension leads and flexible cables from damage
- using safety switches in certain situations
- inspecting, testing and tagging certain electrical equipment on a regular basis
- removing defective equipment
- removing safety switches if they are not working properly
- not using double adaptors and piggyback plugs to do certain work
- regularly testing and tagging extension cords.
Employers and self-employed people must also make sure electrical equipment is kept in a safe condition as part of their obligations under the Electrical Safety Act 2002.
How does the regulation apply to you regarding extension cords and flexible leads?
All employers and self-employed people must locate and protect extension leads and flexible cables so they are not damaged by anything, including liquid. An example is using a cover to prevent crushing or other damage in pedestrian and vehicle areas.
The following two Electrical Safety Codes of Practice provide valuable information on electrical safety at work:
- Last updated
- 03 January 2020